Sunday, 7 October 2012

E-Learning Game: Artwork & Design of Blossom Tree - play my game for free

Screen shot

Screen shot from early levels

Sammy the Snail
Talk about selling old rope! I designed Blossom Tree on my Multimedia Design and Digital Animation course back in Cumbria Institute of the Arts - now Cumbria University. This project opened a new path for me, I illustrated, animated and coded an E-learning game aimed a teaching young children to engage with simple maths quizzes and spelling puzzles. One of the biggest learning curves was learning to code in Actionscript, a language I had a no prior (serious) knowledge of using - so was thrown straight into the deep end!

The Art
To break the project down further I needed to set the scene and make the game appealing too a young audience taking into account: colour, simplicity and whether the children would actually be able to complete the game. Each illustration started out as a pencil sketch before being fully rendered in Photoshop, this was in the days when I would do the colouring with a mouse! Nutter! or perhaps I perhaps just ignorant...

The Plot
The story is based on two lads playing in the woods when suddenly the youngest is snatched by a stereotypically dastardly villain! (Children, watch out for dastardly villains) - not just any old dastardly villian – Victorian dastardly - Now that is most dastardly indeed! Anyway, you plough through the puzzles to rescue him. I have to admit, I watched at some stages as even fully grown adults could'nt answer the questions.

The project is quite dated now but I still felt it was worth a show after digging out the artwork for the launch of my illustration and ANIMATION site. See my illustration services here.

Artwork produced using markers pencils and PS, game animated and built in flash.
Looking back, I still despise the intro I had to add on… ergh!

Or play the old game

Monday, 3 September 2012

Character faces and sketches from my A4 Sketch Pad

Sketch book - Character Faces
I felt my blog lacked this kind of thing, sketches, work in progress WIP's etc. So I wanted to start adding this kind of thing. People, faces, expressions and characters are just some of my areas of obsession, I get my kicks and from drawing gravely faces, ladies, scars and anything that comes to mind.

Back tracking slightly... somebody asked what was my favorite thing to draw - a tough question with more than one answer. I would say story telling, characters, hero's, villains, thieves, rogues, monsters, beasts, ladies, history, a scene the list goes on and on. I like to draw detail!

I'm quite liking the mean old man character and the lady eyes.

HB mechanical pencil

And yes... I do, do a spot of people watching... I get a lot of inspiration from crowded places.

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

A couple of FREE stress relieving flash games.

So … here, I have compiled 3 entertaining, funny, stress relieving flash games for you to play at your leisure from your desktop computer.

Smash time! What can I say I am lover breaking stuff and what better way to vent some anger than by smashing up a fictional PC. Take that Bill!

I remember coming across this a few years ago. Click on the objects around the cubicle and watch the magic happen, very entertaining.

Well, I could not help myself; this is a hidden object game where you have to find a coin in the room. See if you can find the hidden coin. Illustration and game by me.

free hidden object game

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Show Me Inspiration - Where To Find Some!

Need Creative Inspiration

Hello! We have all been there; you have been sat at your computer stuck for hours on end not really producing anything worth showing to anyone. You sit staring at the screen with your mouth hung open gawping at a piece of work that means absolutely nothing... it lacks sustenance, meaning or any real thought, you rely on your computer to have vision!  The birds chirp in the trees, sun sets – sun rises. You think,
“I know, I’ll make hot cuppa!’ you make a brew and still nothing comes, apart from a few rubbish concepts if lucky (You can never pass off a rubbish idea, everybody knows a rubbish idea when they see it.). It’s as if your brain needs an idea injection, that moment of long awaited genius but ... it doesn’t come. I know, it is almost as if I (you) have started the wrong way round; designing first, thinking after, not a great way of going about things but we’ve all done it – and probably still do from time to time!

Get away from the screen
Especially applies for my freelancing time and even working In-house, this 'non-working' working time is when my best thought processes come about, the ideas that come from nowhere or so they seem. Go for a walk in a park, get some fresh air, take some food maybe even take your camera and take some snaps.

Read something - a creative magazine! I recommend a magazine over just going to a blog because you’ll usually get a better quality content (Oh the irony!) and if you are reading a blog, you're still looking at a screen –  in work function unproductive mode. Read books, look at photos, research topics, talk to industry pro’s, take a holiday, take a shower – sleep! OK enough of the fluffy general bit, a list of helpful online resources, which is probably one of the main reasons that you have read this far.

I hope these help - and this really helpful for all round.



Sunday, 18 March 2012

Postcards - x 4 bunny - pencil work - Madman's Throne

poscards, bunny, prisoner, MKC madmans throne

I have 4 postcards available (limited stock). These were initially printed for an exhibition in Looe. The White Rabbit was featured (although friendlier) in the Yoillo Annual Xmas Calender.  

The Prisoner - pencil drawing of prisoner
Mary King's Close (inspired by Edinburgh's MKC)
*The White Rabbit - based on an omen behind the Jolly Sailor in Looe
*The Madman's Throne - parasitic entity living on it's host.
The parasite is the madness.

Postcards are £1 each
or £3.50 for all 4

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Gadget Factory Theme - Satzuma

The Story
In conjunction with the brand. We developed a back story and established a creative process from there – step by step.
The Satzuma men come from their own world, where they make these wacky-cool-stylish gadgets (the products) , an exciting prospect to begin with. The Satzuma people, need to build and source the gadgets. From there, we took a few logical steps; a warehouse? Too limited, overseas? Very literal and not very exciting, we need something where the user experience can be greater, pull them in and walk them around the Satzuma world, this concept is to engage the fans and the businesses - this needed to be the next step from Gadget Garden… A factory!

With all that leaping about spitting ideas about the place in a mammoth brainstorming session, (not all on one day and there might have been actual spit) we needed to consider how this would work in terms of brand, construction and applying the Satzuma effect. This idea needed to push the brand and ultimately, sell the product.

From The Ground Up – Planning
Step 1) Products – how will the theme frame and display the products

Step 2) Brand – Stick to brand guidelines whilst stretching them, remembering it has to be commercial.
Step 3) User experience – how will this make the user feel and imprint our brand as one of the memorable experiences of their day at the trade show.
Starting with the Diamante products, the creative process evolved from there, the crystals would be mined ( where else could the Satzuma people get those semi-precious gems!) or quarried, giving an excellent starting point from a theme, the factory gets its raw materials.

What about the other products? That zing, that craziness which epitomizes Satzuma, Where do they come from what is the origin of this madness… the Satzuma Juice! The products are pulled from this viscous orange liquid that is chemical composite of fun, gadgetyness and placed into the range, still warm!
So based on this back story we needed; Conyeyor belts, mad machines, logos, juice, boxes, pipes,signs, engines, steam, vacuum chutes and pressure gauges and so on!

Below are some examples of artwork used in the project Copyright Satzuma LTD.

Conclusion(ish) – Design – UI – Marketing – Interaction - the entire process
The chance to conceptualize and develop a wacky theme idea into the existing brand has been an exciting experience, the Gadget Factory has proved to be challenge in terms of practicality and how we would deliver this in a real world environment. We needed to make this work across multiple platforms in print, exhibition design, Illustration, marketing artwork and online media (flash animation and interaction) there will be more of this to come in the near future.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Free Stock Image : 4 guns + bullet, outlines


Stock image - please feel free to use. Designed by me.
p90, SA 80 (british army), Sniper Rifle, Ingram/or uzi. (PNG) eps to be
added to my site in the future.